Curtains Up Showcase session two
Reviewer Mark Ritchie
Compere Miki Travis introduced 70’s style disco band Chic Le Freak. Live instruments were augmented by a click-track. A punchy sound, some great vocals and eye-catching stage wear combined to create the most favourable of impressions.
The superbly presented tribute quartet called The Jerseys gave us a quite superb a cappella rendition of Blue Moon. This act has to be one of the market-leaders in this field on this impressive showing.
Lionel Richie tribute singer Hamilton Browne certainly looks the part. Brown’s voice is very gruff these days, but he is big on entertainment value nonetheless.
Maximum Robbie proved an impressive tribute to Mr Williams in every single department. Wisely using Dave Cook and the band, this young man has cruise ship tribute cabaret written all over him.
Impressionist Drew Cameron is a comedy performer who possesses huge appeal. In any other generation of show business, his talent would have been properly acknowledged.
Next came Tim Ames and Tony Strange. Ames set the whole comedy confection as the affable straight man, while Strange played his part as a gay Albanian glass collector. Weird and wacky comedy acts don’t come much more bold and bawdy than this one.
A four piece band with a front man/singer with a style very much his own exploded on stage. Their name Funky Monkey somehow sums them up and their segued set was a real highlight.
Fast-talking and armed with a rapier wit, comedian Phil Reid is still very much a work in progress, but one to watch nonetheless.
Brilliant and totally original comedy duo Barricade puzzle and perplex me a great deal. Why on earth these boys are not already massive stars is quite beyond me!
The Hot Scott Showgirls belong in the bawdy and expansive world of Burlesque, which has seen a real resurgence in recent times.
Kelly Harrison’s multi-tribute band perform hits from Pink, Katy Perry and others. Complete with dancers and a high energy band, this band proved another huge highlight.
Miss Isabella Bliss is a Burlesque style striptease artiste who raised the room temperature by bathing almost naked in a giant champagne glass on stage….honestly! And striptease on a showcase? Why not!
The current market-leader in the classical/crossover duo scene is La Musica. Bel Canto are the latest marketable act of this type to hit the showcase rounds this season.
Chris Hare- The Mind Boggler managed to befuddle a late-night audience, who has been worked pretty hard by this stage.
Soul Ensemble is a three piece band consisting of a glum looking pair of dowdy guitarists, fronted by a girl singer. The perils of putting backing tracks on CD was demonstrated to the full and not for the first time here.
Maximum One D are five very young looking boys who perform a tribute to One Direction. The harmonies were not good and there was little else to enthuse about here.
Singer Johnny Mack appeared earlier in the day, but returned as penultimate act on the first evening session to perform his Olly Murs tribute.
Finally there was genre tribute show Back to the 80’s, who looked highly bookable as they closed things out on day one.